Johnny Lighting 60's Batmobile

I have a Batmobile or two,  Or three.  I've picked up even the silly, goofy, and bizarre versions.  So you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Playing Mantis (under the Johnny Lighting logo) was going to put out a 40's and 60's style Batmobile diecast model in the 1/24th scale.

This review is of the first one I found - the 60's version.  Everyone is pretty familiar with this style, since you've seen it on television in the truly awful but fun Batman television series so many times.

These first two models are showing up  at Wal-marts across the country flr $17.  You'll need some good old model cement, and while it's not required, you may decide to pick up a handful of paints for some of the interior and engine parts.

JL is also producing some other Batmobile models over time, in both the 1/24 and 1/64 scale, along with some other bat-vehicles.  It's a good time to be a Bat freak!


Packaging - ***
The graphics hearken back to the period that the vehicle is from, and look terrific.  The chassis is clearly visible through the plastic window, and the box is sturdy and well designed.  It will catch your eye on the shelf, and with a model that's the most important aspect.

Design - ****
The design matches the 60's style perfectly.  The hefty metal chassis is solid and tight, and the plastic parts were all designed and manufactured to fit together tight but clean.

At no point in putting this together was there an issue with something not fitting, or fitting too tight.  The instructions were easy to follow, even if you aren't a regular modeler.

Difficulty - ****
These little devils aren't going to stretch your modeling skills by any means, but that's just perfect.  I didn't want to end up with a complicated version of the Batmobile that would take me hours to get just right.  If your not painting these (which you can technically avoid, although I'd recommend doing a little work), you could easily finish them in an hour or so tops.

I would pick up a few colors of enamel paint though, and do a little work on the engine block, some of the small interior pieces and a little of the exhaust system underneath.  It adds to the overall black of the rest of the vehicle.

But all the crucial exterior paint work that you see in the photos is already done for you, and there's just the right amount of chrome parts.

Quality - ****
This car is a thing of beauty!  The only metal piece is the outer chassis itself, but that's to be expected.  It's extremely solid, and the hold opens and closes smoothly.

The black paint work on the exterior was extremely smooth and consistent, with very little bubbling or bumps.

All the parts went together tightly, and the use of metal screws to hold some of the more crucial body parts together is a great design.  Just be extremely careful when tightening them not to over tighten and break the plastic.

This is a very high quality model, with great details, excellent paint work, and quality plastic parts.

Value - ***1/2
At $17, these are a very good deal.  Sure, $15 would have meant four stars, but even at $17 you're getting a heck of bargain.

The quality is what really sets this value mark above the usual, and that's something Playing Mantis can be proud of.

Overall - ****
I'm now on the hunt for the second version, and can't wait to find it.  Playing Mantis has met and exceeded my expectations with this model, and I can only imagine how good the other bat-vehicles will be.  The 1/64th scale versions should be out later this winter. 

Where to Buy - 
Head on over to your local Wal-marts and start scanning those shelves!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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